By Isaac Murphy
Tony Brett is firmly established as one of Australia’s best and most revered trainers, but he will be the first to tell you he wouldn’t be where he is today without his Dad, Dave Brett.
Dave Brett, described as the ‘heartbeat’ of greyhound racing during the 80s and 90s, was a highly respected figure throughout the industry in roles as a trainer and track manager.
“Dad was no superstar he was just well liked in the game, for me now this industry is my livelihood and to know that he left his mark is a point of pride,” Tony Brett said.
“The word probably defines him is respect, he was an ever-present figure in the greyhound caper, he ran the Mackay track and just knew and enjoyed being a part of something that was bigger than him.”
Dave Brett passed away in the early 2000s, but his legacy lives on through not only his son’s success, but also through the Dave Brett Memorial Series, which has quickly established itself as the second biggest Maiden Series in Queensland, just behind the Vince Curry.
“The race has been around for over fifteen years now and to see where it started as a maiden final, to now having dogs come up from Sydney and locals tapering their pups for this race is very humbling,” Brett said.
“Talking to trainers the last couple of years more and more are earmarking Maiden Series like this as starting points, with the prize money and notoriety only increasing I think we’ll only see the race get stronger.
“The timing of the series is perfect as well, just before the Winter Carnival kicks off plenty of people are travelling with their dogs and then you have races like the Flying Amy where some of these pups will graduate to, it’s got a nice spot on the calendar.”
Fittingly Brett has a live chance in the race named in his Dad’s honour with Spookie Vision’s early dash to hopefully hold him in good stead.
“He’s a nice dog my boy Spookie Vision, but class wise this year has produced the strongest lot yet, you’ll be seeing a lot of these dogs at Group level by the end of this year, to pick a winner is tough,” Brett said.
“If I had to put my money on one it’d probably be Jason Magri’s Zipping Apollo, he’s actually staying up with me now and boy I wish I could keep him, he ticks a lot of the boxes running thirty dead as an eighteen-month-old pup he’s got a massive future.”
While Brett admits there are stronger dogs in the field he likened Spookie Vision to Painted Picture who took out the Eric Thomson Memorial last year with his box manners.
“His race will be won or lost in the race to the first turn, even though he managed to lead them last week he missed the kick, he can’t afford to do that this week he’ll have to lead comfortably to win the race.”
“We’ve got speed alongside us with Greg Stella’s dog Certification and Selena Zammit’s dog Stinger Noir is capable of breaking thirty seconds and if Zipping Apollo steps I’ve got no doubt he’ll run around 29.80, which my fella just doesn’t have in him at this point.”
“Stranger things have happened in finals, when Painted Picture won his series he wasn’t the quickest dog but had the most early speed, if Spookie can replicate that he’ll make his own luck in front and just might do it for dad.”